Happy Valentine’s Day
Rev. 2:1-7 ESV
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Valentines’ Day is the second largest day for sending cards and the second busiest days for the Post Office behind Christmas. This day is a day that if we were to take a survey would be a day that a lot of people got married on. Valentines’ Day started off a Christian day, but has now been mostly identified with the world. This day is for lovers. This is the day that you show that person you care about how much they mean to you. This is a day that signifies love. This is the day; permit me if you will; that we try to bring or put the LOVE back into the relationship. But what does this have to do with these Scriptures today. Bear with me for a little while and hear what “thus says the Lord.”
I know your works
The church of Ephesus was established over 40 years from the time this letter was sent to them. Ephesus was a city that was the largest city of it’s time in Rome. This city established the first bank because of its financial success. This city was the home of a temple to the goddess Artemis (Diana) one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Paul planted this church in Ephesus and he stayed there 3 years building this church with the help of Aquila and Priscilla. He later left his protégé Timothy in charge and yes even John spent some time in Ephesus. This city had the history and also Paul said that this church had the “love of the saints” This is the church in which John is writing about.
The angel of the church and the seven stars represent the preachers of the churches which are the seven golden lampstands and Jesus walks among the churches. The lampstands are the interesting word here. Why is that preacher? I am glad you ask, because Jesus walks among the churches. Don’t miss this, if Jesus is walking among the churches He is tending to the churches. A lamp needs tending to. Do you all remember; some may and some maybe too young to remember the lamps with the oil and the wick. As long as you had some oil and a wick you had light, but let one give out. No light. We as a church want to be the church on the hill that let our light shine so the world can see…but if Jesus is not the one tending to the lamp then sooner than later out light will go OUT.
There is something else interesting if Jesus is tending to the lamp then He knows the work of the lamp. Jesus knows all about how hard you have been working in the church, how you have been patient with doing your part in the church and as a Christian. Jesus knows it all. He knows how you know the bible back and forth and how you can discern false teacher or a fake. You hate the Nicolaitans, just like I do. These cult groups, those false teachers doing things that are not pleasing to me. As a Christian, you have done all that you are supposed to do in the name of Jesus. You’ve prayed, came to bible study; you did whatever you could do for the church. But….
Abandon your first love
Jesus says you have abandoned your first love. Jesus states that you have abandoned your first love. What first love you may be asking? Just like the church in Ephesus when we first came to know Christ there was nothing we would not do. There was freshness about the Word. There was something that made us want to learn more about Jesus in order to be intimate with Him. We have to have love in order for us to have a relationship with Jesus and make him our top priority. Can anyone remember the first time that you came to know Christ? Just take a few seconds, just to go back to the beginning.
Were you not excited, ready to do anything for Christ? I know I was. I can remember over 3 years ago when Pastor Shealey announced to the church that I was called to preach. How excited I was and ready to do anything for Christ. Then stuff started to get in the way and you find yourself just going through the motions. This is a routine that you go through and you can do it with your eyes closed. I know that some of you are not like me and you just so right and you don’t do any wrong. But I have shortcomings and Jesus is calling me and you out that we have abandon our first love.
Let me make it practical to you, bring it closer to home. This is Valentine’s Day. The day that we express our love for one another, but do you remember the first time your fell in love with that special person. How you would open up doors for her, cook for him or her, talk on the phone all night until you fell asleep on the phone. We did not mind going shopping all day long as long as you were with that special person. Do you remember?
But now you have got so use to the person, have started taking that person for granted and if they ask you to go get them a glass of tea and you in the kitchen you blow. If they ask you to rub there feet you look funny. If they ask you to go to the store with them you say no. But you say I go to work, I take care of the house, the bills, the cars, and I do my part. But what good is that if you don’t love the person and they don’t have your heart. (Just talk about how Jesus wants your heart and not just your works)
Then we must remember where we have fallen; which is from our first love Jesus and repent. Change our way of thinking. Do a 180 and go back to get that love we first had when we came to know Christ. For if we don’t Christ said that he would remove the lampstand and without the lampstand the church will have no light to shine. Therefore the church without the lampstand will be of no significance.
The one that conquers
Who are the ones that conquer or overcome in the KJV? These are the believers who are faithful and obedient and failure to overcome means loss of reward and not of salvation. We as Christian get comfortable and if we can overcome this comfortableness and be obedient and faithful to Jesus then we can conquer and be overcomers through him. By being obedient and faithful He will grant us what was lost in the fall. Access to eat from the tree of life and when you eat from the tree of life that means that you will live forever, but this tree of life is in the paradise of God. Which is in heaven, but who can show me how to get to this point…
Jesus is the one that can show us how to conquer and how to love. For John 3:16 states for God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. He is the one that show us how to conquer Satan with the Word when he was in the wilderness. He is the one that show us how to love when he healed the sick, and raise the dead. But he showed the love to the fullest when he went to a hill call Calvary. Where they hung him high and stretch him wide. Where the put nails in his feet and nails in his hands. They pierce him in his side and he died. I said he died. But he showed us how to conquer when he rose on that third day morning. Now we have the power to overcome and become conquers through Jesus Christ…..
Get back to your first love because if you can get back to the first love you will have the freshness the newness as you did when first knew Christ. Happy Valentine’s Day.
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